Wish You Weren’t Here (And I feel fine) (Mar 2020)

Wish You Weren’t Here, 2020, performance, Berlin, Germany

Wish You Weren’t Here (And I feel fine), 2020, performance, single channel video, HD, color, sound, 16:9, 04:39

In Wish You Weren’t Here (And I Feel Fine) the artist revisits the famous Turkish Market in the Kreuzberg district, Berlin at end of April during the coronavirus pandemic wearing a hand crafted mask. This performance video is a development of the Wish You Weren’t Here performance series made in early March during the COVID pandemic as a response to Anti-Asian hate and violence towards her community. In this performance she wears a peculiar looking mask out of linen and Korean hemp sambe* stitched with her own hair which spells “THE OTHER.” Hearing RHEE’s whispered lyrics of the R.E.M. song, It’s the End of the World as We Know It, we accompany her through the length of the market, filled with customers trying to go about their everyday life.

*Sambe is a Korean weaved fibre and has been associated with mourning and burial rituals since the Japanese colonial period when the colonial gaze framed sambe in this manner.

The COVID-19 Diaries: The New Normal, curated by Grace Noh and Yichen Zhou, MiA Collective, New York/Beijing